Alabama state voting rolls show that more than 66,000 convicted felons lost the right to vote under the state’s felony disenfranchisement law, many of whom may now be eligible to regain the right to vote under a new state law. And a nonprofit is now asking the state to automatically register several thousand former felons who applied but were denied the opportunity to vote. The Campaign Legal Center, a Washington, D.C.-based voting rights advocacy group, heads to U.S. District Court in Montgomery Tuesday afternoon for a hearing on a motion the organization filed June 30 on behalf of 10 plaintiffs.
The motion calls on Chief District Judge W. Keith Watkins to force the state to update voter registration materials and take other steps to educate felons about their rights under the new law.
Passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Kay Ivey in May, the Definition of Moral Turpitude Act defines ambiguous language about crimes of “moral turpitude” in the state Constitution and thereby significantly reduces the number of types of felony convictions that result in Alabamians losing the right to vote.